Singled Out is our weekly column to round-up the singles and new tracks from the past week dropped by bands we cover. Consider this our weekly mix to help keep you all on top of the latest releases from across the metallic and progressive spectrums. Read past entries here, and go on ahead below to get Singled Out!
Coheed and Cambria – “Eraser”
Coheed’s use of a chunky, hyper-distorted guitar tone and their trademark enthusiasm are in full swing here. The “Gravity’s Union”-esque tone in the intro quickly gives way to Claudio Sanchez’s trademarked high-pitched croon and a chorus that shows off the band at their jangliest and most poppy. Despite the defiantly malign undertone, the upbeat drive of this track is incredibly hard to resist; it’s hard to resist a smile when listening to “Eraser”. The whole song reeks of the band’s typical sickly-sweet vibe, the tangy tones of modern alternative rock splashed with the emotive and lush sound of Mars Volta-style prog. It’s a potent combination, and it’s served the band well in the past. We’ll see how it serves them on The Color Before The Sun come October 16th, but seeing as this is Coheed, I can guarantee it’ll be somewhere between amazing and fucking godly.
Driftoff – “Dying Light”
We’ve often been highly skeptical of supergroups on this blog. That’s why it’s refreshing to hear a collaboration between giants of a certain sub-genre sound so damn cohesive and self-aware. Driftoff combines talent from Junius, Rosetta and City of Ships, all names that are downright seminal in their own fields. The first taste of this heady brew is “Dying Light” and it’s a perfect introduction into the post-punk/hardcore that is Driftoff’s measure.
Let us skip over the obviously delicious guitars and drums and focus on the vocals. Put briefly, they are outstanding. Merging the two different styles that are most often heard in this sort of music, they draw on both harsher, raspier sounds that hark to mother-band Rosetta while the more emotional vocals are firmly grounded in the history of the scene. Long story short, this is both new and traditional, fresh and yet wholly recognizable. Get excited for this release.
The Faceless – “The Spiraling Void”
After a period of silence and line-up shuffles, out of nowhere, The Faceless are back! As one of the more visible and accessible bands in technical death metal, them putting out new music is always worth watching. This time, they’re back with The Spiraling Void, and it’s such a warm, welcoming feeling to hear the trademark Michael Keene riffing again. Going back to elements of their older sounds and retooling them to create this new tune, the band sound reinvigorated. They’ve brought back the slight Cynic influence from Akeldama, and the more progressive leaning sound from Autotheism; and the end result is something instantly recognizable as The Faceless. Original singer Derek Rydquist is back, and Justin McKinney of The Zenith Passage is now also on guitar duties. It makes a lot of sense to have Justin on board, as his band is also influenced in turn by The Faceless. Michael Keene’s vocoder cleans from Akeldama are back, the extended solo sections over arpeggios from Autotheism are back, and Planetary Duality‘s riff style is all over. Basically, The Faceless are back in full force. While they haven’t officially announced a new album, they’re touring with new material so this can only mean one thing. We’ll get our faces shredded off.
Megadeth – “Fatal Illusion”
When the years go by and the dust settles, there will be many questions asked about our times: why were there so many wars? Why did it take them so long to go to space? Space is freaking awesome! One of these questions will undoubtedly be: why did Megadeth make more than two or three albums? They clearly ran out of ideas years before they finally took a bow. Don’t believe me that this will be the case? All you need to be convinced is to listen to “Fatal Illusion”, given that the track name itself hasn’t put you to sleep already.
If the soporific name wasn’t enough, one listen to the track should be. It has zero new ideas: the guitars are all where you expect them, the pointless shredding follows and above it all is crowned the voice of the man, the ego, the washed out, Dave Mustaine. That is, if you can find it below all the effects and layers they’ve put on it to hide the fact that the man just can’t sing any more. To be sure, he surrounds himself with talented musicians, he always has, but as always he completely under utilizes them. Whatever shine this man’s name once had has disappeared, the glamor is gone and all that’s left is a boring rivet in the already collapsing machine that is “old school thrash”.
Mestis – “Pura Vida”
Javier Reyes is rather underrated, but I guess that can happen when you’re the second guitarist in a band where the primary guitarist is one of the most famed one of recent years. This should only be a testament to Javier himself though, as it means he’s up to par. His solo project Mestis had an EP a few years ago, and it was just delightful. Combining Latin and jazz elements with the groovier aspects of the Animals As Leaders sound, the record left many wanting for more. Well, fret not (pun intended), as there’s new Mestis material! It’s still chock full of that relaxing-yet-engaging sound. For “Pura Vida,” Javier has recruited Mario and Erick from fellow guitar-and-chill band Chon, and the combination works well. The track is a bit more mellow and melancholic than the Mestis usual (though admittedly we have a very small sample size to discern the Mestis sound), but that is most likely due to the Chon influence. Either way, this makes us only more excited for Polysemy, the next Mestis outing, which is coming out on the 6th of November.
Revenge – “Wolf Slave Protocol”
As I mentioned in my Starter Kit for Bestial Black Metal, Canadian-based Revenge are not only my personal favorite band in the subgenre, but the current poster-boys for anyone wishing to point out why the style is so viciously primal in the best way possible. As the band gears up for their latest, Hemingway-esque titled album Behold.Total.Rejection, they have released the savagely titled lead single “Wolf Slave Protocol (Choose Your Side),” and while claiming that a band is going through the motions may seem like a critique, in the case of Revenge, “going the motions” translates to eviscerating everyone in a one-inch radius. Every instrument blares in a flurry of sound and aggression that initially startles and then commands complete attention. People can may question the quality of this single and Revenge in general, and that is ok; we are all allowed to be wrong about some things. But not a single person can dispute the fact that Revenge is one of the most sonically violent band operating today, and this single both proves that assertion and should stoke anyone keen to truly abrasive metal.